We are really happy to have Nicolette Brink guest posting today. This piece struck a nerve with me, because I am also a driven mom, trying desperately to balance life as a mother and fulfilling my personal goals. Thanks Nicolette for sharing this with us!
The Struggles of the Driven Mom by Nicolette Brink
Some women are just peachy doing nothing but cleaning, cooking, playing Chauffeur and creating plentitudes of enrichment activities for their youngsters. They are completely content and satisfied just being a wife and mom.
Other women have this thing called passionate drive – in which the activities mentioned above while serving their place and purpose are not satisfying nor do they bring an ounce of contentment. The driven mom loves her roles as wife and mom, there is absolutely no doubt about that, it’s just that we are different. And in today’s world competition of being “The Best Mom” somehow we driven moms are supposed to excel at being the first mom while excelling at our personal passion. And this just isn’t going to happen.
The real struggle for the driven mom is a different kind of battle, also ridden with more than just ‘Mommy’ guilt, it gets saddled with ‘wife’ guilt and ‘self’ guilt. If we driven moms are somehow able to excel at being the first contented mom, it means that we are neglecting that inner drive which is filled with our unique characteristics and strengths as a woman and as a person and we feel incomplete.
One person simply can’t be all things to everyone 24/7.
The driven mom has to learn to balance ‘Mom’ duty with ‘housewife’ duty with pursuing the growth of her unique talents. These talents often emerge in the form of a career (which brings its own world of judgment and guilt).
The days in which driven Mom gets zero time to invest in herself (that passion/career) she is left feeling misunderstood, frustrated, incomplete and desperate to find/have some ‘thing/time’ for which she can claim as her own. Kid free, cleaning free, not glued to any other title except ‘hers.’
See, every Mom and wife realizes everything she thinks and decides and does throughout every single day revolves around everyone else and their needs and their schedules, often with hers coming in last. For the driven mom this bring an overwhelming level of exhaustion, for by the time she gets to her ‘passion’ at the end of the list – there is simply nothing left of herself to give to it.
This brings about questioning of self-worth. Why bother? Will it ever amount to anything at this turtle speed? Am I ever going to amount to anything more than just a mom and wife?
This is hard for the working Dad to understand – for he has his own job and title, money, and professional associates. He gets to do his “thing” five days a week, every week, kid and spouse free.
This is hard for the contented SAHM who simply wants to cook, clean and play and organize playdates to understand.
The driven Mom doesn’t just want to be something more than a mom and housewife, she MUST be something more. Those duties and activities are not enough.
The driven Mom, once on her mission, realizes the amount of time and energy (and other resources) wasted doing the same repetitive activities day in and out that neither bring her any refueling of her resources nor give her any intellectual stimulation and personal growth. Who the heck cares about ironing and dusting the baseboards?
The driven Mom, when able to work on her passion and have it near the top of her daily list, is able to refuel herself and find contentment in building herself into something more. This than enables her to be more present in her other roles during the day.
The driven Mom likely either gave up any hopes of being a SAHM – for how in hell could she handle being at home all day and not able to utilize her skills and talents for years on end, or decided it would be in her family’s best interest for her to be a SAHM and does.
The driven Mom who decides to stay home while the kids are little often struggles, battling between the normal SAHM Mommy wars and is expected to have the perfectly cleaned house with the amazing meals and perfectly behaved kids. She also battles the desperate need to be making something of herself and thus ends up in the career woman battles at the bottom rung of the corporate ladder.
The independently owned Mom start-ups, these emerge from the Driven Mom who very likely did not wait until her kids were in school to begin. She simply couldn’t wait. The endless cleaning up of the same old messes, the entertaining of the kids, the need to be the perfect SAHM – enough to drive the driven Mom up a wall and into a lunatic.
So the driven Mom starts as soon as she decides she is worth it and develops the discipline to begin and make it happen. She utilizes the simplest methods for cleaning and lessens her grip on her terminology for ‘what will entertain the kids.’ She masters saving time and energy and makes the most of every five and ten minutes she can find here and there and puts it towards being productive.
The driven Mom lets go (as much as she can) of the expectations others have for her in regards to being that SAHM and Works at Home Mom and simply focuses in again and again on her pursuit.
For the driven Mom, there isn’t even any questioning in whether or not she values being a good Mom and wife and taking care of her household. She very much does and sees to it that she invests herself in these roles. It’s just that she also makes sure to balance it out with quality time and effort into the developing of her talents also.
The driven Mom is very similar to that of a true athlete, one who cannot go more than a day without practicing skills and testing physical limits. It is an ingrained part of who they are and during times of illness, injury, and recovery, the athlete is tested more so in how they handle not being able to do what they do and love than in the physical constraints they face. It is the same for the driven Mom, it is vital for her to have that block of time daily to work on improving her talents for it is internally woven into the core of who she is.
Photo credit: (c)depositphotos/monkeybusiness, used with standard license